12 June 2014
Bennelong MP John Alexander is delighted that Ryde Council has agreed to accept a $200,000 Federal Government grant for the installation of CCTV cameras in the Eastwood precinct. The funding was announced by Mr Alexander on 13 August 2013 with the Coalition Leader in the Senate, Eric Abetz, joining local shopkeepers and media in Eastwood for the announcement.
In his media release at the time Mr Alexander stated: “under a Coalition Government, $200,000 will be spent installing new and improved CCTV facilities on both sides of Eastwood Station.” He added: “the best way to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour is to prevent it occurring in the first place.”
The CCTV funding commitment followed a 2011 request to City of Ryde from the Korean Chamber of Commerce. This request claimed that cultural differences led to a reduction in the number of criminal incidents being reported to local police. Direct representations from Mr Alexander, including two local crime forums, provided further evidence to this claim.
Ryde Council rejected the Korean Chamber of Commerce funding request as the reported crime statistics were not sufficient to justify the cost.
On 22 April 2014 Mr Alexander addressed Ryde Council urging them to accept the federal funding which was then reaffirmed in the May Federal Budget under the Safer Streets Program. The matter was deferred to Council Officers to prepare a report.
With concerns that Council would not formally write to accept the funding before the 12 June 2014 deadline, Mr Alexander and State MP Victor Dominello circulated a petition to local businesses on 16 May. On 27 May, 167 signatures were presented to Council by Korean Chamber of Commerce President, Jason Koh and Chinese community leader, Hugh Lee OAM.
At the Council meeting on 10 June 2014, Councillors voted unanimously to accept the funding.
“In difficult Budget conditions I was proud to honour my commitment to the people of Bennelong for this important crime prevention infrastructure,” Mr Alexander said. “I applaud City of Ryde for accepting this $200,000 grant and look forward to continuing to work co-operatively with Council on this and many other matters of mutual interest to benefit our shared constituents.”
“Statistics indicate that the installation of CCTV cameras helps reduce crime rates, and if criminal activity does take place, the CCTV cameras improve the chances of the perpetrator being caught. Following a recent serious assault, the installation of these cameras will allow Eastwood business owners and residents to feel safer and more secure in the area. This can only be a positive thing for our community,” Mr Alexander said.
“I am also very grateful to Victor Dominello for his hard work in promoting this matter and to Eastwood Police for all their efforts to encourage reporting of all incidents of local crime,” Mr Alexander concluded.
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